Fitness

Tim Robards on his tips to get motivated


Chiropractor, actor, one-time Bachelor star and Medibank ambassador, Tim Robards, talks powering through winter workouts.

If you find yourself weighing up the endorphin rush against the ice-cold morning air don’t worry – even Tim Robards finds it hard to get up-and-at-em in winter.

Speaking on Body+Soul’s daily podcast Healthy-ish, the chiropractor, actor, Bachie-star and Medibank ambassador says that it’s only natural to avoid the discomfort and cold of winter, but that there are ways to push through.

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“Your exercises are hard enough when you’ve got to push your body into discomfort, but then you add the element of cold, then everything is just harder to get going,” he tells host Felicity Harley on the Healthy-ish episode Tim Robards will power up your winter workout (when you can’t be arsed).

“As humans, we’re either trying to seek pleasure and comfort or we’re trying to get away from pain and discomfort. And so exercise in the winter is not very congruent with either of those.”

A former physics student, Robards explains that a piece of plastic will be more bendy and stretchy in the warmth, while it will be more brittle and likely to snap when exposed to cold. Our bodies can be similar, so you might find you’re a little tighter on your morning workout when its cold outside, than you’re used to.

Warming your body up so it’s ready for the workout is a major essential for when the mercury drops.

So – you’re dreading being stiff and cold and are about to press snooze on your alarm. How can you motivate yourself to work out?

Dress for the occasion

Robards has solved the winter activewear conundrum. He suggests we rug up warm so that we can get our bodies nice and prepped for the workout, but opt for multiple layers so that we can dump them as we start to get sh-weat-ayyy.

“If you’ve just got one big jacket and then a singlet underneath, it may be too much of a jump,” he explains. “But if you have a little one in between – that’s ideal.”

Consider your environment

When it gets too cold to hit up a run along the beach, it might be time to cocoon indoors for your sweat-sesh.

“You might have to change and adapt and do a bit more hot yoga in the winter or find a gym that is not freezing,” says Robards. “Just change it up a little bit through the seasons, just like we might do with our eating or with our other habits.”

Put your workout clothes out the night before

It goes without saying that workout prep gets you halfway to the door before you’ve even done anything at all.

Pop your workout clothes out the night before so you’re not fumbling around for socks in the dark at 5am.

Find a way to make yourself accountable

And no – probably not the person next to you in bed who’ll convince you to sleep in.

“If you can make yourself get a training partner, you can be accountable to someone else, and that can really help…or something where you pre-pay for your visit,” Robards says.

“The fact that you’ve already ticked the box, you’ve paid your twenty five bucks and if you don’t rock up, you lose it. That’s another incentive.”

Make sure you get a feel for your body and what type of movement it needs

With a small child in tow (albeit one that sleeps well for a baby of her age), Robards does know what it’s like when you don’t get the perfect night’s sleep.

“Pick your days, pick your battles and then adapt and just do something,” Robards suggests.

On days where you’re absolutely knackered, opt for something like a walk or yoga, and when you’re lucky enough to get good rest, those are the days to capitalise on.

If you have trouble feeling that out for yourself, you can always check in with some heart rate or sleep monitoring technology to confirm if you’re good to go.

Robards adds that you actually get better performance and results on days where you are rested, so there’s really not too much point pushing yourself to do a HIIT workout when you can barely keep your eyes open.

… And that’s advice we’re more than happy to receive.